Talk About Guys in the Arts You'll Never Forget

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Renown 71 year old universtiy film teacher enters the culture war scene with his new web site, . His film students come from all over the world to learn how to make art, film, photographs and entertainment that matters in a tumultuous, competitive world.

When you are in a room with Martin Isaacson you get the strong sense there is something really different about this guy. He may look humble, mild mannered and relaxed but once you have heard him speak about art and life, your life is never quite the same.

And he has a lot of wisdom, thoughts and ideas about those topics that most of us would have never imagined. Martin Isaacson is an artist, educator and raconteur who may be the best-kept secret among the so-called underground culture scene in Los Angeles. At 71, he recently began emerging into the media last month when featured on the web site of the California Arts Council’s “Face of the Arts Project”.

Who is this guy who keeps popping up on line and as facilitator at Los Angeles Arts Commissions art/teacher workshops? Or, addressing artists and teachers at the Music Center of Los Angeles’s artist development workshops?

If you have been reading the arts section of the UCLA Extension Catalog for the past 28 years you may be familiar with his classes on understanding fine art. During the last 15 years at UCLA Extension he has been offering his packed classes “The Knowing Eye Motion Picture Aesthetics” to global media and filmmakers.

He tells some of the most comical and entertaining stories about celebrity directors, writers and actors who show up in his classes as students and who often create video shorts with the other class members. Many of his student’s shorts have won international prestigious festivals awards.

Last year he staged his outrageous and profound performance art piece, “Stills From the Films of Manfred Heimlick –1930-1933, to a standing room audience at the 99 seat, the Electric Lodge Theater in Venice, California.

His 90 minute hilarious satire is about the credibility of the media. It’s about Manfred Heimlick, reputedly the great German Jewish film maker of the 1930s who knew just about everyone who was anyone in German cinema. Isaacson’s father befriended Heimlick when he escaped Nazi Germany in the period before the holocaust.

The cast includes, a blinded war veteran who plays a saw, the great nude German expressionist dancer Anita Burber paying homage Greta Garbo playing the firing squad death of the great spy Mata Hari. , Madam Butterfly Great Granddaughter, and a host of impossible characters recreated from Isaacson’s imagination.

In addition to exhibiting in the lobby, 16 of his huge B&W images of characters and scenes in the performance, Isaacson plays the narrator. He takes the audience on a journey of probabilities that include a hilarious knife-throwing act that includes a beautiful six foot four inch tall female who wears a black eye patch.

Isaacson who believes that having “multiple potentialities” provides artists with unlimited means of delivering messages to audiences is also a photographer. For the past 14 years he has conducted a workshop for the graduating senior class at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California called, “The Fine Art of Understanding Fine Art Photography”. He has had a show of his very large B&W images called "Barbie Ironies" at the University of Judaism.

Although Isaacson has guest lectured at most of the universities and colleges in Southern California, according to him the most memorable and valuable year spent teaching blind persons.

He designed and taught a wood sculpture workshop to women and men teaching them to use very dangerous wood working equipment at Braille Institute in Los Angeles. It culminated in teaching his concepts at a nationally sponsored UCLA/American Foundation for the Blind workshop for teachers of the Visually Handicapped. The Regents of UCLA presented him with an award for conducting one of the best 12 programs created at the UCLA system that year.

In 1980 he was introduced to the great Hollywood glamour photographer George Hurrell and became his creative consultant. He arranged for the sale and publication rights to 30 of Mr. Hurrell’s vintage prints. He also wrote and taught a UCLA Extension photographic workshop with George Hurrell.

When asked what he could possibility do for his next act, Isaacson replied, a web site, and a series of private workshops in creativity for artists, photographers and persons wanting to go to the next level in their life and work.

He has rented a space in Studio City, California and in early October and early November will be offering a series of Sunday workshops.

Martin Isaacson

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